""The Imaginary Girlfriend" is a miniature autobiography detailing Irving's parallel careers of writing and wrestling. . . . Tales of encounters with writers (John Cheever, Nelson Algren, Kurt Vonnegut) are intertwined with those about his wrestling teammates and coaches. With humor and compassion, Irving] details the few truly important lessons he learned about writing. . . . And in beefing up his narrative with anecdotes that are every bit as hilarious as the antics in his novels, Irving combines the lessons of both obsessions (wrestling and writing) . . . into a somber reflection on the importance of living well."
About the Author
JOHN IRVING was born in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1942. His first novel, "Setting Free the Bears," was published in 1968, when he was twenty-six. He competed as a wrestler for twenty years, and coached wrestling until he was forty-seven. Mr. Irving has been nominated for a National Book Award three times--winning once, in 1980, for his novel "The World According to Garp." He received an O. Henry Award in 1981 for his short story "Interior Space." In 2000, Mr. Irving won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for "The Cider House Rules." In 2013, he won a Lambda Literary Award for his novel "In One Person." An international writer--his novels have been translated into more than thirty-five languages--John Irving lives in Toronto. His all-time best-selling novel, in every language, is "A Prayer for Owen Meany."" Avenue of Mysteries" is his fourteenth novel.
“THE NEAREST THING TO AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY IRVING HAS WRITTEN . . . WORTH SAVING AND SAVORING.”
–The Seattle Times
“IRVING’S WRESTLING COACHES, HIS WRITING MENTORS, AND HIS FAMILY ARE VIVID, INVITING READERS INTO A COLORFUL WORLD.”
“A MASTERPIECE . . . THE GENEROSITY OF SPIRIT THAT MARKS HIS FICTION LEAKS INTO HIS MEMOIR IN TENDER AND SURPRISING WAYS.”